Job-seeker evolving beyond the resume

Nevermind trying to spruce up that cover letter to get a potential employer’s attention. Just do what Dennis Mazajlo is doing.

Mazajlo, a third-year Business Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS) student at Western, recently launched a 16-day online campaign in an attempt to land a job interview with NationBuilder, a technology start-up in Los Angeles.

“I don’t really want a traditional job. I thought this (approach) fit with their company because they’re trying to shake-up politics. I thought thematically, it fit to run a mock campaign,” Mazajlo said.

His campaign website – 16daysofdennis.com – is built on the company’s platform and shows he is able to engage with NationBuilder’s product, one that maximizes efficiency, has potential to reduce election costs and recently secured a $6.25 million funding boost from tech investors in Silicon Valley.

In the campaign process, Mazajlo has coupled his past experience of working on political campaigns with a deep interest in technology in order to duplicate the company’s goals and integrate traditional political campaign approaches with new media tools in his unorthodox job hunt.

Trying to get the attention of NationBuilder’s founder, Mazajlo has established an online presence, engaging others to encourage his potential boss to hire him by way of tweets and re-tweets.

And his efforts haven’t gone unacknowledged.

“It was one of my goals to get his attention. And on the first day, he tweeted back and said ‘You’ve got my attention.’ And I got an email last week for a Skype meeting, like a first-round interview,” Mazajlo said. The interview went well and he is waiting to hear if he proceeds to the next round this week.

While he hopes for a positive outcome, Mazajlo said he wouldn’t be discouraged if his campaign isn’t successful.

“Being an optimist, I’ve seen certain fringe benefits come out of this as well – setting a deadline and saying ‘I’m going to do this publically’ gives a sense of accountability with myself. And it’s a new avenue,” he explained.

“I really think a lot of people just send in a resume and then, there’s this waiting game. It’s reactive. Twitter lets you be proactive in a job search, maybe cut through a lot of the red tape. Often your resume will just be thrown in with a hundred others, so, how do you stand out?”

Mazajlo has also been working with TalentEgg.ca, a career website designed for Generation Y job-seekers, trying to connect recent graduates with new employment opportunities.

“At the very least, some other likeminded students now know my name or have engaged with me and I’ve created some Twitter relationships – if you will – and that’s been a benefit in and of itself,” Mazajlo said.

“Maybe time will show but when you do something like that I guess you don’t know who’s watching. If the campaign comes to an end, and it isn’t successful, I could get an email from someone else who noticed it and this could end up playing out well in the long run.”